CIC-Husband entittle to get copies of complaints filed by his wife under RTI Act
Gist: Wife files multiple police complaints against the husband. She has also filed maintenance cases. Husband approaches police for copy of wife’s complaint to defend his maintenance case. Police refuses the same. Husband files RTI which is initially rejected under the provisions of Sec 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act as disclosure of the same may endanger the life or physical safety of the appellant’s wife !!. CIC refuses to accept the police version and orders the police to give husband a copy of wife’s complaint.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
ROOM NO. 329, SECOND FLOOR, C-WING
August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place,
Tel. No. 91-11-26717356
Date of Hearing : 06.08.2014
Date of Decision : 06.08.2014
Appellant : Shri V. Ayyappan,
Respondent : Shri T.Bairavaswamy,
SP/PIO UT of Pondicherry,
Information Commissioner : Shri Yashovardhan Azad
Relevant fact emerging from appeal:
RTI Application filed on : 25.09.2012
PIO replied on : 24.10.2012
First Appeal filed on : 02.11.2012
First Appellate Authority (FAA) order on : 13.12.2012
Second Appeal received on : 13.02.2013
Appellant sought a copy of the complaint, filed against him by his wife in the Police station at Puducherry with the copy of enquiry report and copies of the statements given by the appellant and Smt. S.P. Nivedha.
Relevant facts emerging during hearing:
Both the parties are present. Appellant filed an RTI application on 25.09.2012 seeking copy of the complaint, filed against him by his wife in the Police station at Puducherry with the copy of enquiry report and copies of the statements given by the appellant and Smt. S.P. Nivedha. PIO on 24.10.2012 refused to give information stating therein that the information could not be provided under the provisions of Sec 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act as disclosure of the same may endanger the life or physical safety of the appellant’s wife who resides in Puducherry. The First Appellate Authority vide his order dated 13.12.2012 directed the PIO to furnish a copy of the statement given by the appellant, if recorded, unless the statement was required for any criminal case. Appellant stated that he wanted copies of statement by his wife and the enquiry report in connection with the maintenance case going on in a civil court. He also stated that his wife had filed another complaint against him in Dindigul (Tamil Nadu), copy of which was made available to him through his RTI application.
Respondent stated that on 11.07.2012 a complaint was lodged by the appellant’s wife against the appellant and his parents regarding dowry harassment, safety and security.The appellant was called for inquiry during which both the parties agreed on 28.07.2012 through signed statements, to settle the issue by approaching the family court. Subsequently, the appellant asked for copy of wife’s complaint and the inquiry report which was denied to him by invoking exemption under section 8 (1) (g) of the RTI Act.
It is clear from perusal of records and the statements by the appellant and the respondent during the hearing that the appellant and his wife are engaged in a bitter marital dispute and maintenance case in this regard is ongoing in a civil court. Appellant’s wife filed complaints against the appellant in not one but two police stations. The Puducherry police has refused to give the copy of a complaint by the appellants wife and inquiry report, on grounds of physical safety, by invoking exemption under section 8(1) (g) of the RTI Act. The respondent was not able to clarify as to how the physical danger to the wife’s safety is enhanced by the appellant knowing the contents of her complaint, since the substance of her charges is already known through the contents of the complaint filed in another police station made available to him through another RTI Application. Since the inquiry by Puducherry Police is over and the Complainant is signatory to the letter by the both parties for approaching the family court, due to which inquiry was closed- clearly strengthens his claim to get a copy of the documents. The inquiry is also not required in other cases.
The appellant has stated that he needs the documents for his defence/strengthening his case in the maintenance suit filed in the civil court. Besides, the appellant has not asked for any personal details of his wife but only the contents of documents relating to the charges against him.
In view of above, the Commission does not accept the grounds taken by the respondents for denial of information under Section 8(1) (g) of the RTI Act. The Commission directs the respondents to provide the information sought in the RTI application to appellant, within two weeks of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges prescribed under the Act to the CPIO of this Commission.
Joint Secretary & Additional Registrar